Horace Aspin


Rifleman 41826, 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment

Died of Wounds 7th September 1918 aged 19

Buried Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt, Somme, France

Son of Alfred and Elizabeth Aspin

Lived 26, Regent Street, Heckmondwike

Horace was born in July 1899, in Heckmondwike, probably living at 22, Regent Street. His birth was registered in Dewsbury. His father was Alfred Aspin who was born in Halifax. In the 1901 census Alfred was working as a Carding Overlooker. Horace's mother, Elizabeth nee Preston, was born in Heckmondwike in 1875. In the 1881 census she was living in Regent Street, Heckmondwike.

Alfred and Elizabeth were married on 20 July 1895 at St Peter's Church, Birstall by Rev J E Hewison, the Curate, after banns. Emma, Elizabeth's sister was a witness. Both fathers are described as Carpet Weavers, though Alfred's was deceased. Prior to her marriage Elizabeth was a Blanket Weaver and Alfred a Cast Cleaner. They set up their home in Regent Street, Heckmondwike with Elizabeth's widowed father and her sister, Emma Preston. In 1901 the family of three, Alfred, Elizabeth and the baby Horace are at 22, Regent Street in Heckmondwike.

In the 1911 census Horace lived at 26, Regent Street, Heckmondwike his age is given as 11; the form is completed by a Ben Preston (possibly an Innkeeper from Halifax Road, Staincliffe) and his father, Alfred, who is described as Head of the Household, confirms the accuracy of the details by his mark - although he signed the register at his own wedding. Horace was the only living child of Alfred and Elizabeth, but there had been a sibling who had died. Emma, his aunt, was still living with them and at 38 was a Blanket Weaver; she was unmarried. Joseph his paternal grandfather was also with them.

On leaving school Horace worked at Mark Day’s, Hoyle Head Mills at Earlsheaton. He enlisted in the 1st Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment at the Bradford recruitment centre; his army number was 41826, we are unsure of the date as the War Department Records were destroyed in 1939 in an enemy bombing raid. The 1st Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment were involved in the Second Battle of the Somme on 21 August 1918 at Albert and at Bapaume at the end of August. His parents had a letter from a Chaplain, dated 21 August, stating that Horace had been seriously wounded and a week later there was a letter saying that he had died. The letter said that after an initial improvement he got worse and died a noble death in his sleep on the night of the 7th September. Horace had been buried in the Regimental Cemetery in a grave marked with a cross. Horace's colleague, Private W Horn in Sunderland War Hospital had been with Horace on 26 August when he, Horace, was "all right and cheerful". They had been advancing when they came under heavy gun fire. Horace was wounded but there is no evidence of exactly the nature of his wounds.

Horace died of his wounds on September 7 1918, aged 19. He is buried in Bagneux British Cemetery at Gezaincourt, Somme, France. A photograph, taken by The War Graves Photographic Project, of his headstone can be viewed by following this link. He was awarded the Victory medal and the British medal. Below is Horace's newspaper obituary. Aspin, Pte. Horace. 41826. 1st Bn. East Yorkshire Regt. Died of wounds 7th Sept., 1918. Age 19. Son of Alfred and Elizabeth Aspin, of 81, Upper Rd., Batley Carr, Dewsbury. Native of Heckmondwike, Yorks. VI. F. 29.

At the time of Horace's death Alfred and Elizabeth are recorded as living at 81, Upper Road, Batley Carr. Horace's mother received his outstanding pay and allowances of £10-13 shillings-9 pence in February 1919 and a war gratuity of £4 in December 1919.{KW-007}

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